Despite the muggy, sweltering heat, Karl Lagerfeld appears cravat up to the glottis, immaculate ponytail and gloved his famous leather mittens. It rose in the forest of cameras under the gaze of people who stormed the balconies. By way of background, a concert of horns mingles with the clicking of heels fashionistas on pavements dented. After Barack Obama, Pope Francis and the Rolling Stones, it was the turn of King Karl Havana to tread the ground there to present his Cruise collection. Since the end of the embargo imposed by the United States in 1962 and the warming of diplomatic relations, Cuba is at the center of desire.

If Chanel has organized spectacular parades in Singapore, Dubai and Seoul - where the brand has shops and a loyal customer base - is this time Havana, yet devoid of any luxury store, which was chosen as the setting for the latest collection. A first in South America and outdoors. "Culture and the colors of Cuba are a great source of inspiration for the collection. It is also a destination that was important for tourism before the Revolution. The true origin of cruise collections dating back to the 20s, when American women who went on holiday in the islands needed to match clothes with climate. So get into the Caribbean nearly a century later, it is also a wink at this time, "said Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion activities of the house of the Rue Cambon.(formal wear)

interesting potential

For a decade, under the initial impetus of Chanel, some large luxury homes annually organize their "Cruise" other than the usual cities hosting the Fashion Weeks as Paris, Milan, London or New York. To show that is an intermediary between the fall-winter collections and spring-summer, originality is often in the spotlight. Exotic destinations also allow brands to bring new profitable markets.

The choice of Cuba, which opens to the capitalist world, is not trivial. Chanel, in good pioneer, excelled in the exercise. These events are always highly anticipated and intense buzz vectors. At a time when social networks have phenomenal strike force, such an event obviously ignites the web. The choice of Cuba - sworn former enemy of the United States and irreducible Communist stronghold - but is iconoclastic trend: "It's fun to come after the Pope and the Rolling Stones. Karl Lagerfeld is the third rock star to come to Cuba, "smiles Bruno Pavlovsky, who does not forget the business side. "" Cruise "Collections are related to places where the house wants to grow. We have not yet planned to open in Cuba, but South America is a market with significant potential. "These collections that remain long in stores generate an annual double-digit growth.

Embroidery and printed cigar vintage cars

Obviously, the cream of fashion came running. More than 600 guests handpicked made the trip. Alongside the essential fashion editors, Vanessa Paradis, Vin Diesel, Tilda Swinton, Marine VAChT, Cécile Cassel, Gaspard Ulliel ... gathered at dusk in Old Havana, on the Paseo del Prado, one of the emblematic arteries from the city. Redesigned in 1928 by a French architect at the request of the Cuban president at the time, the avenue is bristling with eight bronze lion statues sculpted by Jean Puiforcat. A wink to the animal fetish of Coco Chanel, who was this astrological sign. But it is especially the unique aesthetic of Cuba, either from an architectural point of view with its facades competing pastels and bright colors, old American cars with flashy colors or women in traditional liquette, who made fly to Karl Lagerfeld, the indefatigable artistic director of the house since 1983.


The couturier has distilled the Cuban spirit in his collection "Cruise" very removed. Reflecting these military figures carved and revisited with a lot of khaki denim shorts, worn with a tweed jacket. We also like the masculine feminine side that mixes spencers jackets with baggy pants cuffed or frilly skirts. It also retains the plant embroidery depicting flowers and leaves of exquisite delicacy. Not to mention these dresses(prom dresses) in lace brightly painted and embroidered. Or these details feather frayed organza and tulle. Another very remarkable piece, this blouse with puffed sleeves or fringed, directly inspired by the famous Cuban shirt, the guayabera. Finally, pleated dresses or silk veil colored houses of Cuban cigar with vintage cars and other printed embroidery put the destination in the spotlight. King Karl and book its modern and cosmopolitan vision of the local mode. Without forcing the line, it offers a tribute to a culture, long isolated, and that the whole world is about to discover.